0143 GMT March 30, 2020
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said potential aggressors would return dead to their countries, warning against any foreign ground intervention in his country after reports emerged that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are considering the dispatch of troops to Syria.
"Any ground intervention on Syrian territory without government authorization would amount to an aggression that must be resisted,” Muallem said at a news conference in the Syrian capital Damascus on Saturday, Press TV reported.
"Let no one think they can attack Syria or violate its sovereignty because I assure you any aggressor will return to their country in a wooden coffin, whether they be Saudis or Turks," he warned.
Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Ja’fari also shrugged off Saudi Arabia’s threat to deploy forces to the war-stricken country as empty bravado.
"(The Saudis) have made such a claim but I don't think they are brave enough to do so ... Even if they send troops, they would be definitely defeated ... it would be suicide,” Ja’fari said, Tasnim News Agency reported.
If the Saudis insist on such a move, they would “deal themselves a death blow”, the commander stated.
“Declaration of war”
Russia also said the proposal for deploying troops to Syria could be regarded as a “declaration of war” while the US Defense Department welcomed Riyadh’s offer.
"Syria has to give official consent, to invite otherwise it will be a war. The same applies to international law," Pavel Krasheninnikov, the head of the State Duma committee, told Interfax on Friday.
Krasheninnikov said that by promising a ground operation in Syria, Riyadh now "intends to send troops to the territory of a sovereign state essentially without declaring a war".
The tiny Persian Gulf state of Bahrain also said it is ready to deploy ground forces to Syria under the Saudi leadership as foreign-backed terrorists are losing ground in the face of the Syrian Army advances.
Syria has been gripped by war since March 2011 with Takfiri terrorists from various groups, including Daesh, currently controlling parts of it.
More than 260,000 people have been killed and one million wounded during the conflict.
Daesh, as a Takfiri group in Iraq and Syria, is believed to be supported by the West and some regional Arab countries.